Paschal tide is the season to relish the victory of Life over death, Good over evil, sanctity over sinfulness. Easter does not remove suffering and pain, but it does give all of it meaning. At the beginning of Holy Week the world watched Notre Dame burn as people prayed and sang hymns in the street. Suddenly, something taken for granted was again seen and valued as precious, beautiful, worth saving and perhaps the fire will help reawaken souls to faith.
On Easter Sunday the world watched as faithful Christians, some preparing to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for the first time, were slaughtered violently even as they gathered to rejoice in the Resurrection. Suddenly something taken for granted, the simple freedom to safely go to Mass, was seen in all its modern day fragility. How precious, beautiful, and worth saving is the opportunity to live out our Faith in every aspect of our lives. Faith is not reserved to one location or one gathering a week.
Is death the last word? No. With each senseless act of violence, we are given a chance to see it through the act of violence in which we crucified the Lord, the death that conquered death itself. There is a saying that in life there are only two things guaranteed: death and taxes. But in reality, the only two things guaranteed are the Cross and Resurrection.
Notre Dame Folk Choir singing “Hail Holy Queen” on the day Notre Dame de Paris burned